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Gas station, restaurant eyed for former Dionne Quints property

Land was purchased by Grand Castle Corp. for $1.6 million in February
A new gas bar, convenience store and A&W restaurant will open at this prime location off the North Bay bypass. (Chris Dawson photo)

The North Bay property that formerly housed the Dionne Quints Museum will now be home to a gas station, convenience store and fast food restaurant.

North Bay Coun. Derek Shogren confirmed the sale of the property – situated at the junction of Seymour Street and the Highway 11/17 bypass – to Grand Castle Corp. for $1.6 million. The sale was originally announced last February.

Shogren said the new owners, which are based in Maxville, Ont., east of Ottawa, will be building a gas station, convenience store and A&W restaurant at the site. Of note, the new gas stop will become the first service station directly along the North Bay bypass within city limits.

Shogren said Grand Castle Corp. made an offer that puts to bed the rumours that some restaurants such as the Keg and Red Lobster were also negotiating for the prime location.

“We offer the land for sale and everybody had a chance to bid on it,” noted Shogren.  “That bid came in at significantly more than we appraised it, so the citizens got good value for that property.”

The home was the birth site of the Dionne quintuplets, who were born in nearby Callander in 1934 and gained worldwide recognition as the first quintuplets to survive beyond infancy. The house has been relocated to many locations over the years.

With museum attendance – and revenue – lagging in recent years, city council voted to move the home, following much debate about the future of its legacy and preservation.

Ultimately, council determined the prime piece of property on which the home sat would be better served with new development, and the home was relocated to the city's waterfront in November.